Oh So Disco

Oh So Disco

If ever there was a time and place in history worth revisiting  it’s got to be  New York city circa mid to late seventies. Studio 54 to be precise.  Home to 700 plus exclusive partygoers  who every night celebrated glamour, decadence and excess. Never before or since has night clubbing looked so good.

Bianca Jagger dancing at Studio 54

Disco anthems sang of shallow partying that went on for days and resumed without question the following evening. How fabulous it must have been for those involved,  dressing up like their lives depended on it and then parading and sharing the splendour in nights of  high-spirited heady fun.

The disco scene’s energising and seductive marriage  of  New York’s art, music and fashion worlds resulted in an iconic  aesthetic of ice cool glamour epitomised in the portraits of photographer Ron Galella.

Dance and fashion fused with the celebrity and art worlds under the refracted lights of glass globes. The door policy is legendary. Beauty, success and celebrity would not always guarantee you entry but it definitely upped your chances. The global and lasting  impact of the club lay in its carefully calculated mix of revellers. An amazon of  ’70s supermodels including all American golden girl Lauren Hutton, Texan Jerry Hall and ill fated beauty Gia, shook their booty alongside  rock icons and artists.  The occasional unknown and oddballs  added intrigue.

Studio 54 was built on nothing if not self belief.  Promoter Steve Rubell and club goers alike embraced the American ideals of thinking big and making a splash. Flamboyance was in vogue, resulting in moments of celluloid history such as  Bianca Jagger riding  into the famous nightclub astride a white horse.  Budgets and self promotion were unhindered allowing for some colossal ego expansion.

Bianca Jagger making an entrance on a white horse

The bold and the beautiful spun and shimmied in show stopping Halston’ and  Ozzie Clark creations.  Halston created minimal designs in luxurious modern fabrics. Cut was everything.  Exquisite draped jersey halter dresses and pant suits allowed the wearers freedom of movement and freedom of expression. Love beads  and flower power were out and affluence and prestige were in.  Think lustre, think legs and think long, long nights.  It was a Bacchanalian era where looking good and feeling good where all that mattered and at the former they succeeded without question.  The international  lifestyle of the club’s jet setting elite was reflected in exotic fashion accents  like Afghan jackets, turbans and the kaftan. The minimalism and simplicity of the form fitting gowns were also offset by bold accessories and outrageous behaviour.

Halston, Bianca, Grace Jones and Andy Warhol at Studio 54

“In every corner you’d see somebody you read about in a paper or a friend or Beautiful People or mad people. Major, major stars. All the social people. You had a blend of society that had never happened before. It was like a movie.” Halston said of the era.

‘The Studio’ as it became known has been richly  documented in several films. Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale donned bored expressions and glitter eye shadow for the  sardonic period piece Last Days of Disco.  54, directed by Mark Christopher, covered the lives of the scene’s  key figures. Controversial auteur Spike Lee  gave us his take in Summer of Sam, a strange film that set a serial killer plot line against the backdrop of disco hungry hedonists.

Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale in the Last Days of Disco (1998)

Designers and high street stores are all plundering the seventies this summer and disco’s glamourous influence  is there too, seducing us  back onto the dance floors  in billowing voluminous  flowing maxi dresses,  white tuxedo jackets, funky jumpsuits  and ultra high strappy sandals.  Today, with  the climate of  austerity measures and economic uncertainty, a philosophy of dressing to the nines, dancing  till you drop, eschewing all and anything mundane and the inevitable understanding: same thing, same time tomorrow, seems worth considering.

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How To Bury A Wardrobe Treasure?

(Originally posted in 2011. With some editing.)

It is with great sadness and lingering denial that I write this post. I want to push past the denial into acceptance which is why I have chosen to write this post sensing it might help that awkward and difficult transition. “Harvey” as he has been named will not be with me this winter. Harvey is my beloved silver fox fur jacket which I purchased on a glorious April afternoon in Blackrock Market, Dublin back  in 2005. I had toyed with getting a fur for some time so on finding an exquisite 1960’s model in a fetching fashionable short length I unquestionably had to give it a try. The price was a no brainer. For a meagre €20 I’d pulled a lasting and treasured love.

It is with great sadness and lingering denial that I write this post. I want to push past the denial into acceptance which is why I have chosen to write this post sensing it might help that awkward and difficult transition. “Harvey” as he has been named will not be with me this winter. Harvey is my beloved silver fox fur jacket which I purchased on a glorious April afternoon in Blackrock Market, Dublin back  in 2005. I had toyed with getting a fur for some time so on finding an exquisite 1960’s model in a fetching fashionable short length I unquestionably had to give it a try. The price was a no brainer. For a meagre €20 I’d pulled a lasting and treasured love.

I thought it might be a tad audacious so gingerly we appeared out together Harvey and I. It was a chilly winter in Dublin so we became rather attached to each other quite quickly. A chorus of approval greeted us on our every outing and any qualms I had were quelled by how marvelously glamourous it felt not to mention the exquisite warmth and comfort that it provided. I was rocking the Tundra look that first winter.

I liked the sense of excess that it provided. The luxury of a bygone era. I remember once throwing it over some casual ensemble with a pair of flip-flops, a good asking

“Who do you think you are, Jennifer Anniston?”

It brought out the exhibitionist in me which is one of the reasons I enjoy clothing so much. Minimalism with precision details was never my thing. I like a statement piece or two or three and my fur coat always made me feel like a million Euro. That was the beauty of him. Harvey went with everything.

More than anything though it felt like me.

Sadly I was very hard on the poor thing. Tough love I guess you’d call it. Some people are hard on shoes or handbags but I am hard on fur coats. I have had him repaired at least a couple of times and with great apprehension. He is now best fit to keep the bed warm on the coldest of nights. The sleeves are worn through and the collar is well frazzled and so the hunt( pardon the pun) is on for a replacement but as I feel take may take a while I have this beautiful french knit to fill the gap.


Harvey 2005-2011

Hunters and the hunted.

I have been a busy girl lately. Having capably taken care of my more immediate domestic concerns I found a little time for the important things like custard yellow ball gowns, gratuitous costume changes, treasure hunting at dawn and papping top drawer vintage lovers. Its been quite the week. Exciting developments are afoot in Suzieperon land and I am loving it. I shall keep you posted…

Till next time enjoy the latest parade:

Snow FoxLouise Potter with her precious finds. I like fur you know and this beautiful Snow Fox trimmed coat had me feeling ever so sorry for my own dishevelled Harvey.

Annie Todd’s grace and elegance was unmistakable. She was a pleasure to photograph. I was most taken by her natural poise and artful use of colour.

Fine and feminine. Jewellery designer  Jessica Delotz does vintage her way at The Vintage Fair Regents Park,  Camden. March 14 2011. How perfectly lovely she looks!

And now for the show stopper. Drum rolls and marching bands purleese!

This is the dress that worked magic on my back injury last Sunday. Fashion hurts and heals. Its no lie!  Behold My Yellow Crush

Dress kindly on loan from Galina Sherri.